Some last minute notes and numbers from AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
· The four Final Four teams combined to go 124-27 (.821), but went 62-21 (.747) in conference games/including conference tournaments and 62-6 (.912) in non-conference games/including NCAA Tournament. Of the 6 non-conference losses the four schools combined for, two were vs each other (Florida’s two losses). The other 4? Kentucky vs Michigan State, Kentucky vs Baylor, Kentucky vs North Carolina, Connecticut vs Stanford.
· Non-Conference SOS (including NCAA Tournament games) is top-6 for all 4 Final Four teams (calculated by the average KPI of each opponent)
· Florida has played each of the other Final Four teams. None of the other 3 teams have played each other this year. UConn and Wisconsin are the only two teams to beat Florida. Florida swept Kentucky.
· Florida leads the country with 19 road/neutral wins (19-2). Wichita State won 18 such games, followed by Michigan State and Stephen F. Austin with 17 each.
· Northwestern’s win at Wisconsin was the 3rd largest outlier game of the season by KPI formula (1-Boston College at Syracuse, 2-Illinois-Chicago at Milwaukee).
· Wisconsin was the only team not to play in their conference tournament championship game. Florida was the only team to win their conference tournament. Florida was also the only team with a regular season conference championship.
Final Four Team Numbers
· Kentucky (+7.8 FTA/game) and Wisconsin (+7.6 FTA/game) are 5th and 6th nationally in FTA differential per game. Florida is 20th (+6.3 FTA/G) while UConn is 123rd (+1.3/game). Kentucky is 7th in FTA/poss (0.43), followed by Wisconsin (71st, 0.36), Florida (81st, 0.35) and UConn (214th, 0.32)
· Wisconsin is 2nd nationally in opponent FTA per possession (0.24). Florida is 9th (0.25), UConn 90th (0.30) and Kentucky 143rd (0.32). Can Kentucky (2nd in FTA per possession offensively) get to the FT line against Wisconsin (2nd in FTA per possession defensively)? (Also, goes to officiating, where .64 more fouls per team, per game are being called over last year’s NCAA Tournament, but fouls called are down 1.45 per team, per game from the regular season).
· Wisconsin is 3rd nationally in foul differential (-5.1 PF/game) and Kentucky is 10th nationally (-3.8 PF/game). Wisconsin is 2nd nationally in foul differential per possession, followed by Kentucky (7th), Florida (13th) and UConn (144th). Kentucky draws 22.3 fouls per game from their opponents, 10th best nationally. They draw 0.33 per possession, 2nd best nationally.
· Florida is 15th in foul differential (-3.4 PF/game) and UConn is 123rd (-0.6 PF/game). FTA Per Possession: UConn 0.32 (214th), Florida 0.35 (81st). UConn negates the Florida advantage of getting to the line more often by shooting FTs significantly better. FTM Per Possession: UConn 0.25 (89th), Florida 0.24 (150th). Florida allows opponents the 9th fewest FTA per possession (0.25), UConn allows the 90th fewest (0.30 FTA/poss).
· Wisconsin is 2nd nationally in fewest turnovers per possession (0.13). UConn is 97th (0.17), Florida is 118th (0.18) and Kentucky is 175th (0.18). Furthermore, Kentucky is 312th in turnovers forced per possession (0.16) and Wisconsin is 330th (0.15).
· Offensive Rebounding Percentage: 1-Kentucky (43%), 52-Florida (35%), 213-UConn (31%), 286-Wisconsin (28%).
· Defensive Rebounding Percentage: 16-Wisconsin (73%), 42-Florida (72%), 118-Kentucky (70%), 263-UConn (67%) – Kentucky’s strong offensive rebounding vs. Wisconsin’s strong defensive rebounding is critical.
· Total Rebounding Percentage: 2-Kentucky (57%), 21-Florida (54%), 133-Wisconsin (51%), 182-UConn (50%)
· Percent of Points from Made FGs: 133-Florida (79%), 221-UConn (77%), 237-Wisconsin (77%), 335-Kentucky (74%)
· Percent of Points from Made FTs: 18-Kentucky (26%), 116-Wisconsin (23%), 132-UConn (23%), 220-Florida (21%)
· Percent of FGAs that are 3’s: 44-Wisconsin (39%), 119-Florida (35%), 135-UConn (34%), 289-Kentucky (28%)
· Offensive Possessions/Game: 203-Kentucky (66.9), 242-UConn (66.0), 335-Wisconsin (63.1), 336-Florida (63.1)
Offensive Production (Calculated as difference between a team’s PPP to date and the average of all their opponents defensive PPP): 4-Wisconsin +.164, 12-Kentucky +.122, 22-Florida +.105; 40-UConn +.080
Defensive Production (Calculated as difference between a team’s defensive PPP to date and the average of all their opponents offensive PPP): 4-Florida +.159; 11-UConn +.113; 38-Kentucky +.081; 40-Wisconsin +.079
Overall Production (50% Off P, 50% Def P): 3-Florida .264; 5-Wisconsin .243; 12-Kentucky .203; 19-UConn .193
When comparing offensive and defensive production vs. team’s offensive PPP (7-Wisconsin 1.16, 43-Kentucky 1.13, 54-Florida 1.12, 77-UConn 1.10) and defensive PPP (6-Florida .911, 24-UConn .957, 73-Wisconsin .996, 77-Kentucky .998), the expected final scores based on PPP and production to date are:
Florida 66.8, UConn 62.4 (+4.43) / Expected Pace: 64.7 poss/team / Expected PPP: Florida 1.032, UConn .964
Wisconsin 73.2, Kentucky 70.6 (+2.66) / Expected Pace: 65.2 poss/team / Expected PPP: Wisconsin 1.123, Kentucky 1.082
NCAA Tournament Trends
Through the regional finals of the 2013 and 2014 NCAA Tournaments (64 games):
Steals are down 13.4% (.84 per game)
Turnovers are down 14.5% (1.75 per game)
Scoring is up 4.6% (3.03 PPG), up 3.4% per minute (factoring in increased number of OT games this year)
Fouls are up 4.1% (.70 per game), up 2.9% per minute, FTA are up 5.2% (.98 per game), up 4.0% per minute.
FG% is up from 42.3% to 44.2%, FT% is up from 71.2% to 72.7%
Points Per Possession are up 5.8% (from 1.006 to 1.064)
Of the 3.03 PPG increase, 2.25 points come from more made 2’s (72.0% of increase), 0.99 points from more made FT’s (31.7% of increase) and made 3’s are down 0.21 PPG (-6.7% of increase).
The oversimplified narrative: Scoring is up because (1) about 1 would be steal/turnover is being called a foul per team and (2) FG% is up – because an extra foul per game is being called on what may have been a missed shot.
This is the #KPI